From the Detroit Free Press‘ official Twitter feed comes word that the Tigers have named 22-year-old left-hander Drew Smyly as their No. 5 starter.
Smyly posted a 2.84 ERA and tallied 10 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings this spring in the Grapefruit League, winning the job over fellow Tigers southpaw Duane Below, who surrendered nine runs in 15 2/3 frames.
Detroit doesn’t need a fifth starter until April 12, so Smyly will make one appearance in the minor leagues to open the year before being added, officially, to the major league roster.
The former second-round pick registered a 2.07 ERA and 130/36 K/BB ratio in 126 innings last season between Single-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie. He has yet to throw a pitch at the Triple-A level.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.
This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.
Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.